Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Dealbreaker

I have a story, but this story needs backstory. And this story involves my Match account, ever so kindly paid for by my mama, but first, I need to discuss my primary, preferred service. If you've never used OkCupid, let me give you a little peek into the mechanics of this particular online dating website.

OKC uses questions to determine a match percentage for you and a potential mate, broken down into your primary match, friend percentage, and enemy percentage. Question topics range from sex to math to drugs to grammar. In theory, this helps you determine whether or not you'd get along with someone. I don't honestly get how it works, because half the time I swear it's fucked up and someone I have a high match percentage with misses the boat on a gazillion questions, and someone with a low percentage seems great. But that's not the point of this post.

Now that you get the gist, I've come to the tip of my point.

There are a few questions that deal with weight and attraction, and answers to these questions are very important to me. "Can overweight people still be sexy?" If you answer no, I don't care if you look like Ryan Gosling, we're not messaging. "If one of your matches was overweight, would that be a dealbreaker?" My preferred response is no, but I'll make allowances for "yes, but only if they were obsese", cause "obese" certainly means different things to different people.

Which brings me to my story, and my dealbreaker.

I have not been impressed with Match thus far, and I've only replied to one guy who's emailed me. He seemed interesting, and his last message included an invite to meet up, which I would have gladly accepted...except.

I had asked what part of town he lived in, and his response was an approximation of the following:

"I live in Venice, which is great except during the summer when crowds of obese tourists invade and clog up the boardwalk."

Now, I get that this is a joke. I do have a sense of humor. But...come on, bro. Of all the descriptive characteristics one could ascribe to obnoxious tourists, like I don't know, obnoxious, or oblivious, you chose obese?

Online dating is about putting your best face out there to the world, right? And apparently this guy's best face tells fat jokes. Now, maybe if I'd been more interested in him otherwise, I would have let it slide, but as it was, it was enough to be a dealbreaker for me. I sent something snarky back in response, and that's that.

But seriously---I don't think I'm overreacting. Maybe I am. But I got into a discussion this week about how "fat prejudice" is one of the last biases in our culture that goes completely unchecked and is, in fact, willingly accepted. It's not considered "PC" to keep your fat hate in check. It's socially acceptable to spout your loathing for the chubbos of the world, and you won't get called on it. It's totally cool to make an obese joke to a girl you're trying to woo on the Internet, 'cause hey, she's not fat, amirite?

It's gross.

In retrospect, I could have used the moment as a teaching tool as opposed to taking the opportunity to get sassy, but I don't think I could have educated this guy anyway. But I'm making a commitment to myself from here on out to not let these kind of comments go unchecked out there in the real world. I want to be strong for myself and for everyone else who feels the sting of jokes and insults like these, no matter what our physical bodies look like on that particular day. People should know their fat shaming humor and ingrained hate just doesn't fly with me, and shouldn't fly with any decent hearted person.

Are you with me?

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